CSTLdesign News

Facebook Plugins You Need Before They Die Off

You’ve no doubt heard about the claims Facebook has spread like an “infectious disease” across the planet and over the next three years will lose a staggering 80 per cent of its users.

We all watched as Myspace crashed and burned (despite Justin Timberlake’s best attempts to revive it) so this news comes as no surprise.

So before users begin abandoning Facebook (and their parent’s embarrassing comments on posts) in droves, let’s make the most of it! This collection of 10 free and premium Facebook plugins for WordPress includes all you need (and then some!) to fully integrate Facebook into your site, from adding a simple Like box to adding advanced functionality with Open Graph.

Do you have a favorite Facebook plugin that’s not on the list? Tell us in the comments below.

Facebook

facebook

This is the official Facebook plugin for WordPress and it does it all.

The plugin lets you integrate all kinds of Facebook features into your site, such as the Open Graph protocol, Facebook Insights and Like, Send and Follow buttons. You can also embed Facebook posts and enable the Facebook Comments Box social plugin. There’s also a recommendations bar to help visitors find new content on your site and a recommendations box widget.

Configuring the plugin is a straightforward affair. You’ll need to set up a Facebook developer account so you’ve got an app ID and secret key to put into the plugin’s settings. Once you’ve got that sorted, you can set up Like and Follow buttons and configure a comments box or recommendations bar, and quickly access Insights for your site.

Facebook AWD All in One

facebook-awd-all-in-one

Much like the official Facebook plugin, Facebook AWD allows you to add social plugins, Open Graph, comments and Facebook Connect.

When you activate this plugin, it uses its own customized blue background, which I think is unnecessary. You’ll need to set up a Facebook developer account and plug in an app ID and secret key before you get started.

The great thing about this plugin is that you can enable Facebook Connect in realtime and link Facebook users with your site and use avatars from Facebook instead of defaults.

Social Locker for WordPress

social-locker

Social Locker lets your users “pay” with a Like, much like WPMU DEV’s Pay With a Like plugin. The plugin allows you to lock access to the content on your site – videos, audio, free downloads etc – until a user clicks Like. Clicking Like gives them access to your content, while you get your site promoted to the user’s friends and followers.

The plugin uses shortcodes to lock content, so you can control exactly what you want users to see. The nifty thing about this plugin is the analytics tools, which let you track how users interact with the locker and which locked parts of your site bring in the most traffic.

WP4FB WordPress Facebook Plugin

wp4fb

WP4FB allows you to create custom Facebook fan page tabs with a drag and drop interface. The plugin comes with a bunch of fan page templates as well as FanGate, which locks content to non-users of your site until they click Like.

Other features include ShareGate, which encourages users to share your content with their friends, optimized wall messages and shortcodes.

This premium plugin is a bit pricey, with prices ranging from $67 for a single fan page license to $197 for an unlimited agency license.

Facebook Post Planner

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Facebook Post Planner is a handy plugin that lets you post to your Facebook page from the comfort of your WordPress admin area. Like planning and writing blog posts, you can plan and write Facebook posts and schedule them in advance. You can even choose to repeatedly publish posts at regular intervals.

Composing a Facebook post is much like writing a WordPress post – just write your message, add images or other media and hit publish/schedule.

Custom Facebook Feed

custom-facebook-feed

This plugin allows you to display a customizable, responsive and search engine-friendly version of your Facebook wall on your site. You can match the look and feel of your site. You can display multiple Facebook walls from different Facebook pages and groups and use shortcode to embed them into posts, pages or widgets on your site.

You can even display events from your Facebook wall with the name, date, time, location and description.

Setting up the plugin is easy, and like other Facebook plugins you’ll need a Facebook developer account. This is the free version of the plugin. The premium version offers updates and support.

Social Traffic Pop for WordPress

social-traffic-pop

Social Traffic Pop displays a pop up on your site displaying your social media accounts to encourage visitors to your site to like your site’s Facebook page. This plugin isn’t Facebook specific, though. It also includes Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.

The plugin’s settings include options for timing the pop up and adjusting the opacity of the background when the pop up is displayed.

Recent Facebook Posts

recent-facebook-posts

This free plugin has a lot of love in the WordPress Plugin Repository where users have overwhelmingly given it 5-star reviews.

Recent Facebook Posts adds a widget, a shortcode and a template function to your site, which you can user to list your most recent Facebook posts from pages and some personal profiles.

This plugin is easy to customize and comes translation ready.

WordPress Social Share

wordpress-social-share

Prompt your visitors to Like your Facebook page with WordPress Social Share. This plugin includes a set of stylish icons, which are displayed over your site after a set period of time you choose.

You can set different button positions and backgrounds, but unfortunately the plugin only comes with one set of icons. Hopefully more icon sets will be released with future versions.

Ultimate Facebook

ultimate-facebook

Last, but not least, I couldn’t put together a list on Facebook plugins without mentioning our very own Ultimate Facebook plugin. This plugin combines the functionality of a dozen different plugins in one do-it-all plugin.

The plugin’s features include allowing users to login to your site with their Facebook account, autoposting to Facebook, importing comments from Facebook to your site, Like and Send buttons, Open Graph, fan page widgets and shortcodes for further customization.

Nine custom widgets let you add advanced social sharing to your site, including Facebook Connect, photo albums, events, Facepile and more.